The Eye of the World
By Robert Jordan
If you're in the market for an epic fantasy series, but you don't want to start one that's currently unfinished (looking at you, George R.R. Martin), may I suggest Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time?
Not only is it an excellent entry in the world of high fantasy, but it's finally coming to an end in January, 23 years after the first book in the series was published. Jordan, who died in 2007, left behind copious notes which fantasy author Brandon Sanderson used to finish writing the series. Though fans were worried about how the new books would turn out, Sanderson's efforts have continued the story without any major bumps. The 14th, and final, book in the series will be A Memory of Light, and I am excited to see how it all ends.
Like a lot of high fantasy, the story is set in a world filled with strange countries and colorful characters. There's a man born to fight against an evil encroaching from the north. He has courageous friends to help him, and a woman with mysterious powers to guard his way. There are monsters sent to attack them and anyone they meet could be working for the wrong side. They travel across a huge continent on a world that once enjoyed an Age of Legends, but has since been broken by madmen seeking power.
I stumbled across the books in middle school, and over the years have spent many late nights reading and re-reading the series. Recently I decided to listen to the whole thing on audiobook, which is a great way to do it if 1,000-page books aren't your thing.
The Wheel of Time series provides a richly detailed world filled with characters who will delight you, amaze you, exasperate you, and convince you to keep reading. The first book in the series, The Eye of the World, is available as a book, a book on CD, or a downloadable audiobook.
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Review by Danny Hanbery